Record breaking Cook puts England in dominant position
KOLKATA: A record-breaking century by England captain Alastair Cook gave the tourists the upper hand in the third Test against India on Thursday in Kolkata.
England closed at 216-1 in reply to India’s 316 all out on the second day as Cook made his 23rd century – fifth as Test captain – passing the record held jointly by Wally Hammond, Colin Cowdrey, Geoffrey Boycott and Kevin Pietersen and crossing 7000 runs.
Nick Compton scored his maiden Test fifty during an opening partnership of 169 before he was dismissed by Pragyan Ojha for 57. Cook was dropped by Cheteshwar Pujara at 17 in what would seem like a cucial miss now.
The Indian bowlers did not seem threatening at all as England cruised, adding more runs.
India added 43 runs to their overnight total as MS Dhoni scored a half century and was caught out by Graeme Swann off Steven Finn.
Former England player Boycott lauded Cook’s century and said the best was yet to come for the 27-year old.
“I don’t think it’ll be such a big deal to him, to pass Wally Hammond, Colin Cowdrey, myself and Kevin Pietersen.
“He’s going to get a lot more unless he suffers some serious illness or injury.
“He’s got a sound technique, he’s the captain so he’ll automatically get picked – he’ll be way up towards 40 by the time he’s finished, high 30s maybe.
“If you think he’ll be in his best years until he’s about 32, that’s five years. You play about 14 Tests a year so that’s about another 70 Tests, and he’ll probably get about 15 Test hundreds in that.
“I think he’ll be close to 40 (hundreds) by the time he’s in his early 30s, then it depends how long he plays, he might get more than that.”